This week was filled with stress, anxiety, and error messages. If you're a regular visitor to, perhaps you felt my pain when a series of "500" messages greeted you as you attempted to visit this site. In the midst of Adam's last week of school and helping Eric to pack (or rather, trying to get him to start packing) for his summer school in Russia, the website was plagued by demons. In other news, one of my personal online accounts -- linked to my primary credit card -- was hacked and fraudulently used for major purchases which were charged to my credit card.

My stress level hit its highest on Thursday afternoon a few hours before we were scheduled to leave to take Eric for his flight. You know those moments you have when you think, "Why me Lord, why today?" As I drove myself to a prescheduled dental appointment (yeah, that helped too...), I did what many of us do when we think things can't get much worse. I called my mom. Yes, my kids were driving me nuts and life felt a bit out of control, so I telephoned the one person to whom I can always complain without any repercussions. She never judges, she never tells me to get over myself, she just listens -- and loves.

Arriving in the dentist's office, I glanced at the rack of popular magazines lining the wall next to me. There, spelled out across the glossy covers, were the woes of Arnold  Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, poor little Caylee Anthony, and our national economy and healthcare systems. Seeing the pictures reminded me to stop and to pray for all of those who have REAL problems that far exceed the small irritations I face in my own little world: the hungry, the homeless, the ill and those who have no faith and no support. A decade of the Rosary (another conversation with a Mother who loves unconditionally) helped me to settle the jagged edges and to greet the dental assistant with a smile (instead of the truth) when she asked how I was doing.

We all have those days -- the ones where we'd prefer to hit "fast forward" and wake up refreshed and with it all worked out. You can likely replace your own set of irritations for my computer errors and hours lost to fraud investigations. But the truth is that each day is a gift. The good, the bad, and even the errors. The trick is in remembering to accept them all, to give thanks, and to simply do our best with the hand we're dealt one baby step at a time. He knows, He cares, and He helps.

And a call to your mom never hurts...